Donald Trump may have finally found the line that can’t be crossed with Republican voters, politicians and pundits. During an interview at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa on Saturday, the thrice-married plutocrat decided to continue his feud with former GOP Presidential nominee and Vietnam War prisoner of war John McCain. After McCain had criticized Trump for appealing to the “crazies,” Trump countered by calling McCain a “dummy” by bringing up his graduation ranking at the Naval Academy. The Trumpster took it even further Saturday.
While on stage at the summit, Trump said the following:
“He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
It should be pointed out that while McCain was shot down over Vietnam and spent nearly six years in captivity in a North Vietnamese prison that was infamously known as the ‘Hanoi Hilton,’ Trump avoided the war altogether by getting four student deferments in the 1960s. Therefore, you have a draft dodger criticizing the service of a man who spent years being tortured by the enemy, all for the sake of continuing a Twitter feud and to show he ‘tells it like it is.’
Well, the reaction to Trump’s comments was swift and harsh on Saturday. While many conservatives loved Trump for his xenophobic and racist comments about Mexicans and immigrants, calling out a war hero while you yourself avoided serving is a bridge too far for Republicans.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 18, 2015
After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain’s service — Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) July 18, 2015
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) July 18, 2015
My friend, McCain, is scarred & lives w/daily physical pain from being tortured in Vietnam, while Trump was getting deferments. That’s all.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) July 18, 2015
.@SenJohnMcCain is an American hero, period.
— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) July 18, 2015
Saying John McCain is a terrible Senator does not give you license to attack his service to the country in the military.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 18, 2015
Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. McCain, also commented on Twitter.
I can’t believe what I am reading this morning. Horrified. Disgusted. There are no words.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 18, 2015
Meanwhile, the popcorn was being eaten with delight by others at Trump finally saying something that even die-hard right-wingers will not support.
Trump attacking McCain’s war record gives other Rs what they’ve badly wanted: a zero-risk opportunity to whack the guy on fighting dirty
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) July 18, 2015
If you told me in 08 that I’d be defending McCain from Trump on Twitter, I’d call you crazy. I’d also ask what Twitter was. But here we are.
— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) July 18, 2015
Can’t wait for @karlrove to attack Trump’s cheap shot at McCain’s war service–same Rove who cheered Swift Boat smear campaign
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) July 18, 2015
This is going to backfire on Trump. No matter your feelings on McCain, he was captured in service to his country. https://t.co/GerzsXNkLZ
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 18, 2015
It was inevitable that Trump was going to finally say something that even made his Mexican-hating defenders go, “Whoa there, pardner!” This is it. It will be great to see how he deals with this going forward.